Charleston Co. wants input on West Ashley intersection improvement project

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County officials want your input on an intersection improvement project in West Ashley.

Charleston County Transportation Development is working with the City of Charleston, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and project area stakeholders to improve traffic and safety where Sam Rittenberg Boulevard (SC-7) and Old Towne Road (SC-171) meet.

One of the major issues is the alternate merge which people have started to call the “suicide merge.” While officials want to focus on the traffic in the intersection, they also want to make bike and pedestrian safety a priority.

“This one is really a balance of bike pedestrian and movement of cars," Deputy Director of Operations for Charleston County Transportation Development, Richard Turner said.

Four alternative plans were developed for people who live, work and travel in the area.

“One thing that is consistent between the four alternatives is the Orange Grove and Sam Rittenberg intersection,” Turner said. “We’re adding duel left turns on Orange Grove Road and extending the right turn lane on the opposite side of Orange Grove Road.”

Turner said there are pros and cons to each of the alternatives and they range in cost from about $8 million to $13 million. The project was first discussed in 2005 but was put behind other priority projects.

“Once the City bought the Piggly Wiggly, there’s a lot of pieces and parts starting to come together,” Turner added. “That we can bring the project back and make it a real gateway [to West Ashley] and improve the area.”

Public input is open until January 31 and officials are encouraging everyone familiar with the area to please give their feedback which can be found by clicking: here.

Once input is gathered the team will continue to work on the plan and hope to start construction in 2020.

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